I’ve seen a lot of posts about handicapped parking lately and I’d like to put in my two cents. I 100% agree that if you do not NEED to use that parking space, then you should never use it. Under any circumstances. No matter how quickly you intend to be in and out. I believe that there is a lack of compassion and an overabundance of selfishness involved in utilizing disability access when unnecessary. Maybe you’re just purely lazy that day, or maybe you’re simply too impatient as you hurry throughout your day. Maybe, even, you don’t think it affects anyone and are simply ignorant or unaware. Whatever the reason, be assured, it DOES matter!
To many, having simple access to a place of business means the difference between being productive and carrying on with their lives as best they can, or being completely and utterly helpless and dependent on others. Many of us recklessly take for granted the ease of moving about doing simple tasks without restriction or severe pain. Most of us have no frame of understanding of a chronic illness or disability. Thankfully, the majority of people will never have to know. They won’t know the physical pain, the shame, the helplessness, the hopelessness, the depression, the embarrassment, the emotional and physical struggles that occur many, many times on a daily basis. I thank God that they will remain “normal” and continue to lead healthy and productive lives.
The problem is, there are many who ARE embarrassed to use the handicap spaces because they don’t “appear” to be handicapped. Too many of us have disabilities that are not visible. I won’t use a space unless I absolutely have to!!! Even if the other spaces are up close to the door, that handicapped spot should be saved for someone who needs wheelchair access. Someone may need as few steps that day as possible. Someone may have bulky walkers or other equipment that they have to deal with each time they enter or exit a vehicle. They NEED those parking spaces or access to the ramps! Some of us have disabilities that make us choose to either be able to walk the parking lot to the store, or be able to walk long enough to get our shopping done. I make my choices wisely. So, please don’t judge someone who seemingly is not handicapped with anything you can SEE.
Most days I can’t even stand long enough to do more than a sink full of dishes. But, on better days, I would like to try to get errands done, if possible. Some days, I force myself to do things that I know will cause even more pain, and restriction, for days to come. Every day, I have to make choices. I choose which priorities of the day will be attempted first before being unable to do anything else. The only things I know for sure that will get done on any given day is that I will wake up my son (several times because he always manages to fall back asleep), drive him to school, eat something so I don’t get sick from my meds, try to concentrate long enough to work (luckily from my own computer at home), and… well, that’s about all I’m absolutely sure will happen. Everything after that is a bonus. I don’t want it to be like that, yet it is.
I won’t go into the severity of the symptoms or pain. I will only pray that I will be one of the blessed ones to find a treatment that works well enough to “take the edge off” so that I can tolerate and manage them to function as a “normal” person again.
You can’t see or feel what I’m going through, but I assure you it is very real.
So, while I want everyone to CARE enough to not use handicapped parking spaces without absolutely needing to… and, I mean REALLY need to…
I also want everyone to be EDUCATED enough to not judge those who do need to use them, even when the necessities are not visually obvious.